By Eric Armit
-Jose Zepeda knocks out Ivan Baranchyk in a Fight of the Year candidate that features eight knockdowns in five wild rounds
-Gabriel Floes outpoints Ryan Kielczewski for win No 19
-Filipino featherweight Mark Magsayo goes to 21-0 with victory over Rigoberto Hermosillo
-Joshua Buatsi retains the WBA International title with stoppage Marko Calic
-Former WBC super flyweight champion Srisaket stays busy with second round victory over Filipino Jomar Fajardo
-Usman Wazeer stops Indonesian Boido Simanjuntak to win the vacant Asian Boxing Federation welterweight title in Islamabad in Amir Khan’s inaugural boxing promotion in Pakistan
World Title/Major Shows
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Light: Jose Zepeda (33-2,2ND) W KO 5 Ivan Baranchyk (20-2). Light: Gabriel Flores Jr (19-0) W PTS 10 Ryan Kielczewski (30-5). Heavy: Guido Vianello (7-0-1) W Kingsley Ibeh (5-1-1). Feather: Duke Ragan (2-0) W PTS 4 John Moraga (1-2).
Zepeda vs. Baranchyk
Zepeda knocks out Baranchyk in the fifth round after a truly thrilling battle that saw eight knock downs in a fight would have electrified a stadium full of fans and provided an unforgettable fifteen minutes of drama. A candidate for Fight of the Year. Baranchyk does not have a reverse gear so he was taking the fight to Zepeda jabbing strongly and throwing right crosses going for power rather than accuracy. Just two minutes into the round he connected with a right that sent Zepeda back off balance and he went down on his haunches. He used his right glove to make sure he did not go all the way down and so was given a count. Zepeda did not look badly hurt but a left hook from Baranchyk put him down again. He was up quickly and the bell went when the eight count was completed. Early fireworks and a great start for Baranchyk with more to come. Baranchyk started the second by throwing a punch so wildly that he lost his balance and had to put his gloves on the canvas but it was not a knockdown. An over-exited Baranchyk was lunging forward swinging with wide punches and a counter left to the head from Zepeda dropped him. When he got up he looked a little shaky. He floundered back as Zepeda followed him landing hooks to the head and this time it was Zepeda who walked onto a counter right and was put down. He was quickly and again did not look in trouble. Only half way through the second and already four knockdowns! Zepeda boxed his way through the rest of the round with Baranchyk still flying in wildly. Zepeda was boxing carefully in the third. It is as well there was no audience as some of Baranchyk’s swings would have decapitated the first ten rows. His carelessness saw him wide open and three consecutive lefts from Zepeda dropped him and opened a cut over the Belarus fighter’s left eye. After the count Baranchyk was a little more cautious and Zepeda connected with some strong straight lefts. Baranchyk was hounding Zepeda in the fourth driving forward and getting through with some solid shots. Zepeda was looking to counter and just before the end of the round Zepeda landed a strong left hook the put Baranchyk down on his back for knockdown No 6 in the fight. Baranchyk beat the count but he was now showing heavy bruising under both eyes. The bell went to end to round before either could throw another punch. Baranchyk continued his aggression throughout the fifth. Zepeda was finding gaps for powerful counters but as Baranchyk came forward he landed a strong right that sent Zepeda flying back into a corner and almost down. The referee decided the ropes had held Zepeda up so he saw it as knockdown No 7 and applied a count. When Baranchyk launched his next attack Zepeda met him with a right to the body and a thumping left to the head that sent Baranchyk to the floor and he was counted out on his back. It was almost five minutes before they lifted Baranchyk to a stool and six before he could stand after such a savage battle. Going into the fight Zepeda was rated No 2 by the WBC 2 and No 3 by the WBO but not in the top 15 by the IBF or WBA. With WBC/WBO champion Jose Carlos Ramirez ordered to face Jack Catterall and Josh Taylor just having successfully defended the IBF and WBA titles- and aiming for a unification fight with Ramirez- Zepeda will have to wait for his title shot until sometime next year. In the mean time he picks up the WBC Silver title with this win. If he does get that title shot he will be hoping for a change of luck having lost to Terry Flanagan for the WBO light title due to a dislocated shoulder and been beaten by Ramirez on a majority decision for the WBC title in February 2019. Former IBF champion Baranchyk had lost his title against Josh Taylor in May last year but in October stopped Gabriel Bracero and was No 4(3) with the IBF. It will take him some time to recover from this punishing contest but he will be back. They weren’t needed but at the end of the fourth round all three scorecards had Zepeda in front 37-35. What a pity there was not an audience there to see these two warriors provide such a memorable contest.
Flores vs. Kielczewski
Imperious boxing display from young Flores as he outboxes experienced Kielczewski all the way. The blistering hand speed of Flores had Kielczewski’s face a deep red in the first minute of the fight/ It was all looking too easy until a left hook from Kielczewski sent Flores staggering back to the ropes. He was rocked again by a right but then settled down to cautiously outbox Kielczewski for the rest of the round. After a close second Flores took charge of the fight from the third. Kielczewski had no real answer to the movement or hand speed of Flores who was firing multi-punch combinations to head and body. Kielczewski was trying to walk down Flores but he was just not quick enough to cut off the ring. He ended up just tracking Flores around the ring not letting his punches go and when he did he usually ended up swiping air. Flores ended the fourth with a flourish connecting with a volley of punches and used a range of precise shots to dominate the fifth and rocked Kielczewski with an uppercut in the sixth. The pace dropped in the seventh with the punch output from Flores fading away but he connected with a short left hook that was the best punch in the round. Flores boxed on the back foot throughout the eighth spearing Kielczewski with jabs and short bursts of punches and then changed tactics in the ninth coming forward and slashing Kielczewski with well-timed combinations and connecting with a crunching right cross. Flores eased his way through the tenth getting his punches off first and using speedy footwork to leave Kielczewski always a pace or two behind. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92. Another sparkling performance from the 20-year-old from Stockton. He has not yet figured in the ratings but must do soon and is aiming for a title fight next year. If there is a concern it is that as the level of his opposition has improved his inside the distance wins have faded away. This is his sixth points win in a row so he may have to sit down on his punches more to find the power he will need against higher quality opposition. Kielczewski “the Polish Prince” has already experienced the difference when the opposition gets tougher. He was 22-0 at the start of his career but losses to Miguel Flores, Frank De Alba and Tommy Coyle have injected some reality into his hopes.
Vianello vs. Ibeh
Vianello remains undefeated but it was a close thing here as he fought a majority draw against the 38lbs heavier Ibeh. The Phoenix-based Nigeria had early encouragement when Vianello was cut over the left eye in the first round. From there this developed into a gruelling contest with both fighters showing signs of battle by the end. Vianello just did the cleaner work and probably just deserved the decision but it was close enough for no argument. Scores 57-57 twice and 59-55 for Vianello. A disappointing show by the highly touted Italian prospect. Ibeh had won his last four fights including reversing his only loss.
Ragan vs. Moraga
Ragan gets in four rounds of work against late substitute Moraga. The hot young prospect was cut by one of many head butts from Moraga but was always in control. Scores 40-36 from the three judges. Ragan’s first fight lasted less than two minutes so Moraga, who only took the fight at three days notice, did what he was paid to do.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Feather: Mark Magsayo (21-0) W PTS 10 Rigoberto Hermosillo (11-3-1). Welter: Paul Kroll (8-0) W PTS 10 Lucas Santamaria (11-2-1).
Magsayo vs. Hermosillo
Magsayo, rated one of the best young fighters in the Philippines, take a split decision over Hermosillo. This was a case of power vs. quantity as the busy Hermosillo threw more and landed more but the harder punches from Magsayo impressed two of the judges enough for them to score for him. A punch from Magsayo opened a cut over the right eye of Hermosillo in the first round but it was never really a factor in the fight. Mexican southpaw Hermosillo took the fight to Magsayo early working well to the body but Magsayo was finding the target with heavy rights. Hermosillo shrugged those off and stayed busy continuing to drive forward into hard counters from Magsayo. The fight looked even until the closing rounds. In the ninth a left hook from Magsayo staggered Hermosillo and Magsayo then built on that to also take the last to emerge the winner. Scores were nowhere near in agreement at 100-90 and 96-94 for Magsayo and 96-94 for Hermosillo. Magsayo, 25, the WBC No 4, had not fought since August last year when he outclassed former WBO bantamweight Pungluang so he will be aiming to do better next time out. Third loss in a row for Hermosillo, all against unbeaten fighters.
Kroll vs. Santamaria
Kroll continues his winning ways with a hard earned points victory over Santamaria. Kroll made a good start but was in trouble in the second when a vicious left to the body almost cut him in half. He retreated in agony and Santamaria tried desperately to end the fight but failed. Kroll recovered and got back in the fight but was having trouble with the busier Santamaria who was constantly switching guards. Kroll’s pressure and heavy right hand punching gave him the edge over the later rounds and he came out a clear winner although the scores of 99-91 twice and 96-94 for Kroll looked a little harsh on Santamaria. Philadelphian Kroll, 25, won the US Olympic Trials for Rio but then lost out at the Americas, WSB/APB and World Qualifiers so no trip to Rio. Santamaria was coming off an impressive unanimous decision victory over 22-1 Mykal Fox in August.
Milton Keynes, England: Light Heavy: Joshua Buatsi (13-0) W TKO 7 Marko Calic (11-1). Middle; Linus Udofia (16-0) W TKO 9 John Harding (8-2-1). Heavy: Alen Babic (5-0) W TKO 3 Niall Kennedy 13-2-1).
Buatsi vs. Calic
Buatsi breaks down and halts Calic in seven rounds. Lots of tentative jabs in the first round with Calic also firing overhand rights but not connecting and Buatsi just having the edge. Over the second and third Calic began to find the target regularly with right crosses and Buatsi was under fire for much of those six minutes which gave Calic a lead in the points. Buatsi was throwing more punches over the fourth and in the fifth two huge rights to the head from Buatsi had Calic in deep trouble on the ropes. He almost went down clutching Buatsi and covering up to survive. Calic was still trying his luck with rights in the sixth and fighting in short bursts but he was fading badly and now Buatsi was in control. Calic’s work rate dropped and the snap had gone out of his punches. Two heavy rights sent Calic back across the ring at the start of the seventh. More rights saw Calic buckle at the knees and touch the canvas with his gloves. After the count Calic looked very reluctant to continue and as Buatsi pinned him against the ropes the towel was being waived from Calic’s corner. Fifth defence of the WBA International title and eleventh win by KO/TKO for the 27-year-old Ghanaian-born Buatsi. He was vulnerable to Calic’s rights early but in the end proved too strong for the Croatian. He is rated WBA 2/IBF 3(2)/WBC 12/WBO 14 but that is not necessarily in his best interests. He has yet to face any rated opponent and it is a huge leap from foes such as Ryan Ford and Calic to Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol. Box Rec has him No 20 in their ratings. He has not fought anyone in the EBU top 20 and yet as No 2 if things went his way he could find himself the mandatory challenger to Beterbiev before he has another fight. Calik’s opposition has been strictly low grade but he looked dangerous over the first three rounds before coming apart.
Udofia vs. Harding
Udofia scores late stoppage victory. Harding used a quick accurate jab to take the first round but then the pressure and some heavy body punches from the stronger Udofia saw Harding falling behind. Udofia continued to dominate the action and Harding began to tire. Harding flared back into life in the eighth and started the ninth well but a right hook put him down. He made it to his feet and looked ready to continue but the referee stopped the fight. British-based Nigerian Udofia retains the English title with his eighth stoppage victory. Harding was having his second try at the English title having been stopped in eight rounds by Jack Cullen last year.
Babic vs. Kennedy
Babic saves the night for Croatia as he floors Kennedy on his way to a third round victory. Babic has won all of his fights by KO/TKO taking less than ten rounds to do so. At 6’1” and weighing 199 ¼ he is really a cruiserweight. A bad result for Irishman Kennedy as it is his second inside the distance loss in a row having been halted in five rounds by Devin Vargas in August last year.
South Kirby, England: Super Light: Ohara Davies (22-2) W PTS 10 Tyrone McKenna (21-2-1) . Light Heavy: Serge Michel (11-1) W TKO 4 Liam Conroy18-6-1). Cruiser: Steven Ward (13-1) W PTS 6 Jone Volau (5-6).
Davies vs. McKenna
Davies wins the MTK Golden Contract super lightweight final and lifts McKenna’s WBC International title with a majority verdict. As expected Davies was taking the fight to McKenna early with southpaw McKenna boxing on the back foot and countering. Davies connected well with rights over the first two rounds but McKenna was doing some good defensive work and slotting home counters. There was plenty of back and forth action over the fourth and fifth with Davies landing the harder punches. McKenna was on the front foot in the sixth and scoring well but suffered a cut on his right eyelid. Most of the rounds were very close with a just a punch or two making the difference. Davies went down in the ninth but it was a slip and not a knockdown and Davies just did enough in the end to deserve the decision. Scores 96-94 twice for Davies and 95-95. Since losing to Josh Taylor in 2017 Davies has won 7 of his last 8 contests with the loss a close decision against WBO No 1 Jack Catterall. McKenna had also lost a close fight to Catterall and then gone on to score five victories but he looked fortunate to get the decision over Mohamed Mimoune if the semi-final of the MTK tournament.
Michel vs. Conroy
Michel earned his place in the MTK light heavyweight tournament final with a stoppage of Conroy. Michel just had the edge in the first two rounds and connected with a right counter late in the third that saw Conroy drop to one knee. He managed to survive but the fourth was painful. Conroy tried to make amends for the count by taking the fight to Michel and as he stormed forward a right to the head floored him heavily. He made it to his feet but when he again tried to rush Michel he was put down by an uppercut and the fight was stopped. Michel “The Bavarian Sniper” was born in Russia but is now a German citizen. He was a top flight amateur beating world rated Tyrone Zeuge and competing at both the World Championships and the 2016 Olympics. He lost on a kayo to Canadian Ryan Ford but won a convincing victory over unbeaten Tommy Philbin in the quarter-finals of the tournament. He will now face Ricards Bolotniks in the final. Former English champion Conroy had lost to Joshua Buatsi and Steven Ward but outpointed Andre Sterling in his quarter-final.
Ward vs. Volau
Ward starts his rebuilding project with a points win over inexperienced Fijian-born Volau. It looked as though Volau made the better start and took the first round. From there the superior boxing of Ward saw him sweep the remaining rounds. Referee’s score was 59-55 for Ward. In the amateur he was a five-time Irish champion and won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games. Things seemed to be going along nicely when he took a technical decision over Liam Conroy for the WBO European title which landed him a world rating. Unfortunately the roof fell in when he was floored three times and stopped in the first round by Ricards Bolotniks in the quarter-finals of the MTK tournament. At 30 it will be an uphill battle. Fifth loss in a row for Volau.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Feather: Kenichi Ogawa (25-1-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Kazuhiro Nishitani (21-5-1). Super Fly: Hayate Kaji (15-0) W PTS 8 Hiroki Yajima (9-9-3).
Ogawa vs. Nishitani
Ogawa continues his drive towards another world title shot as he outpoints Nishitani in a war that saw both fighters on the canvas. Ogawa was putting pressure on Nishitani over the first two rounds but a left hook from Nishitani in the third floored Ogawa. He beat the count but was badly shaken and had to clinch to survive. Ogawa rebounded and floored Nishitani with a right in the fourth and then again took control. Nishitani remained dangerous with left hooks and had a good eighth but Ogawa’s faster hand speed gave him the edge over the last two rounds. Scores 97-91 for Ogawa on the three cards. Ogawa was briefly a world champion. Back in 2017 he outpointed Tevin Farmer to win the vacant IBF title but both his A sample and his B sample tested positive for a banned substance so his win was changed to a No Decision and he was fined 20% of his $70,000 purse and banned for a year. Since returning he has scored two wins in low level outings and then his fight in December with Joe Noynay ended in a technical draw. He is No 3 with the IBF but since the No 1 spot is vacant he is effectively the second highest rated fight by them. Nishitani, the Japanese No 3 and a former undefeated Japanese lightweight champion, had won his last six fights.
Kaji vs. Yajima
Japanese prospect Kaji floors a gutsy Yajima twice on the way to a wide unanimous decision. It looked like being an early night when Kaji put Yajima down in the first. Yajima made it to his feet and fought hard enough to win a couple of rounds but was in deep trouble at the end. He was floored again in the seventh and lost a point for holding as he strove to keep his record clear of any inside the distance losses. Scores 78-70 twice and 79-69 for Kaji. The Teiken gym fighter was All-Japan Rookie (newcomer) of the Year in 2015 and is No 2 in the Japanese ratings. Yajima has suffered 4 defeats in his last 5 fights.
Wielk Kleniz, Poland: Cruiser: Nikodem Jezewski (19-0-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Marek Prochazka (9-3-1). Jezewski returns to the ring and collects the vacant Polish International title with a unanimous verdict over Czech Prochazka. Jezewski made his traditional aggressive start mixing his punches well and finding gaps for his body punches. Czech Prochazka showed a sound defence but was unable to put much pressure on Jezewski due to the longer reach of the Pole. The visitor scored well in the eighth and it became apparent that Jezewski had injured his right hand and he used it sparingly over the last two rounds. Scores 99-91 twice and 97-93 for Jezewski. Despite his impressive statistics the 29-year-old Pole has not yet made any real impact. Prochazka, a former Czech title challenger, has yet to lose inside the distance and his defensive work kept that type of loss off his record.
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Feather: Dennis Contreras (23-10-1) W KO 6 Carlos Flores (20-1). Super Feather: Hairon Socarras (23-1-3) W TKO 3 Julio Buitrago (13-24,2ND).
Contreras vs. Flores
In a clash of two Mexicans Contreras shows how misleading records can be as he knocks out previously unbeaten Flores in six rounds. Contreras went after Flores from the outset and Flores was forced onto the back foot. He showed some neat movement and quick, accurate punches to outscore Contreras in the second and third but no real power and just could not halt the forward march of Contreras. From the fourth it was man against boy as Contreras relentlessly walked through the punches from Flores connecting with hard shots to head and body. He bombarded Flores with head punches late in the fifth with only the bell saving Flores. He then ended it in dramatic fashion in the sixth. A huge left uppercut followed by a right to the chin sent Flores to the canvas and he was counted out. Contreras retains the WBA Fedecentro belt after having turned his career around. A run of 1-8-1 in 10 fights saw him considered as guy on his way to nowhere. However in his last three fights he has defeated unbeaten 12-0 Fernando Garcia, stopped 20-2-1 Belmar Preciado and now the 20-0 Flores so combined records of 52-2-1. Flores, 20, has a heavily padded record with 13 of his victims never having won a fight and all the others having negative records.
Socarras vs. Buitrago
Socarras given an easy task as he starts to rebuild after his first pro loss. After three one-sided rounds Buitrago’s team threw in the towel pulling their man out. Cuban Socarras gets his fifteenth win by KO/TKO. He was brought down to earth when he clashed with Ryan Walsh in October last year in England being halted in nine rounds. Poor Nicaraguan Buitrago has won just 2 of his last 22 fights and to make matters worse he turned pro as a minimumweight so has put on 26lbs since those days.
Brussels, Belgium: Light Heavy: Oscar Ahlin (19-2) W TKO 2 Achilles Szabo (25-25). Super Welter: Nabil Messaoudi (1-0) W KO 1 Samuil Dimitrov (2-10-1).
Ahlin vs. Szabo
Ahlin overwhelms a poor Szabo for a second round stoppage victory. With Szabo’s record this was never going to last long and Ahlen nearly ended it with a knockdown in the first. Szabo made it to the bell but was put down three more times in the second and the fight was stopped. The 30-year-old Swedish “Golden Boy” now has 17 inside the distance wins but his opposition has been mainly sub-standard and losses to Bernard Donfack and Patrick Mendy puts his record into context. Hungarian Szabo suffers loss No 13 by KO/TKO and his sixth defeat in his last seven fights.
Messaoudi vs. Dimitrov
Former top amateur Messaoudi makes his first professional bout a brief one as he uses just one left hook to put Bulgarian Dimitrov down and out in the opening round. All over in 30 seconds including the count. The 22-year-old 5’10” Messaoudi represented Belgium at both the European Under-22 championships and the European Championships. Seventh loss by KO/TKO for 21-year-old Dimitrov. He is a southpaw but when you are only around for 30 seconds that counts for nothing.
Plovdiv, Romania: Heavy: Bogdan Dinu (20-2) W KO2 Frank Bluemle (16-9-2). Super Welter: Yosif Panov (18-3) W TKO 6 Moussa Gary (10-3-2).
Dinu vs. Bluemle
Another easy win for Dinu as he floors German Bluemle twice the second time for a count out. Dinu was just too big for the German who did not put up much of a fight. The 34-year-old 6’5” Romanian won his first 18 fights before getting too ambitious and paying for it with inside the distance losses to Jarrell Miller and Kubrat Pulev. Bluemle way down the hill with seven quick defeats in his last nine fights.
Panov vs. Gary
“Viper” Panov extends his winning run to sixteen with victory over Gary. The fight went longer than expected but it ended in the sixth when a booming straight right floored Gary. He scrambled around trying to rise but the towel came in from his corner and the count was stopped. After three early losses when fighting in Scotland the 24-year-old Bulgarian has stuck to non-threatening opposition mainly in Bulgaria. Frenchman Gary was 9-0-2 at the start of his career but is 1-3 since then with this being his first loss by KO/TKO.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Welter: Hironobu Matsunaga (17-1) W TKO 7 W Yuto Shimizu (14-5-2).Super Bantam: Ryohei Takahashi (19-4-1) W PTS 8 Kyohei Endo (3-4).
Matsunaga vs. Shimizu
Matsunaga holds on to the national title with stoppage of Shimizu. Although Shimizu had height and reach over Matsunaga he just could not cope with the aggression of the champion who was getting inside and connecting with southpaw right hooks. Although Shimizu found the target with straight rights by the fifth he was bleeding heavily from the nose and was down 50-45, 49-45 and 48-47 on the cards. Matsunaga continued to score heavily in the sixth and opened a cut over Shimizu’s left eye in the seventh. Shimizu had nothing left and a series of punches from Matsunaga brought the referee’s intervention. Tenth win in a row for Matsunaga and his eleventh win by KO/TKO. He was making the second defence of the title. He overcame an orbital fracture under his left eye and a detached retina before finally winning the Japanese title in May last years. First inside the distance loss for Shimizu, the Japanese No 1, who was having his second shot at the title.
Takahashi vs. Endo
Former IBF title challenger Takahashi gets a win but has to climb off the canvas. They fought on fairly even terms over the first two rounds but Takahashi put Endo down with a left hook in the third. He also took the fourth and fifth. Endo knocked Takahashi down in the sixth but Takahashi recovered and over the last two rounds although under pressure his better skills made him a clear winner. Scores 77-74 from each judge for Takahashi. He gets his third win since being stopped in eleven rounds by JT Doheny in a challenge for the IBF title. The inexperienced Endo did well to last the distance.
Islamabad, Pakistan: Welter: Usman Wazeer (4-0) W TKO 4 Boido Simanjuntak (24-55-3).
Big event but a poor fight on Amir Khan’s first promotion in Pakistan as local fighter Wazeer stops veteran Indonesian loser Simanjuntak in the fourth round. This was a slow paced fight with young Wazeer boxing behind his jab and putting together some combinations with Simanjuntak only really going through the motions. Simanjuntak traded punches occasionally but body punches from Wazeer had him hurt in the third. In the fourth it was clear that Simanjuntak had finished for the night and he stood against the ropes allowing Wazeer to throw punches to head and body without reply and then slumped to the canvas with the referee immediately stopping the fight. The Abu Dhabi-based “Asian Boy” Wazeer, 20 wins the vacant Asian Boxing Federation title. Difficult to make any judgement on him as his previous experience consists of three four round fights, one in Dubai and two in the Philippines and Simanjuntak was no sort of test. Obviously the hope is that Amir Khan promoting there will build more local fighters but the pro sport could hardly even be described as grass roots there. Simanjuntak was as careful a choice as you could get. The 36-year-old Indonesian southpaw has lost inside the distance 24 times and is now 1-21-1 in his last 23 fights.
Bang Phun, Thailand: Bantam: Srisaket (49-5-1) W TKO 2 Jomar Fajardo (17-18-2).Light: Apichet (7-0) W PTS 8 Musheg Adolan (7-2).
Srisaket vs. Fajardo
Former WBC super fly champion Srisaket (Wisaksil Wangek) wins his second fight since boxing resumed in Thailand. His opponent Filipino Jomar Fajardo showed courage beyond the call of duty as he took serious punishment before his team pulled him out during the second round. Fajardo was trapped on the ropes and being battered by hooks and uppercuts with the referee showing no sign of stopping the pounding until Fajardo’s second climbed in the ring. The Thai had a real struggle before getting the decision over Amnat Ruenroeng in August but looked sharp here. He is 1-1 in two battles with WBC champion Juan Francisco Estrada and as he is No 1 with the WBC he must be in line for a third fight next year. Fajardo much too brave. He is now 2-7 in his nine most recent contests with sixth of the seven losses by KO/TKO.
Apichet vs. Adolan
Apichet remains unbeaten as he takes a majority verdict over Adolan but looks very lucky to do so. Apichet had to survive two counts, one in the second and one in the third to take the decision. Scores 76-74 twice for Apichet and 75-75. He remains WBC Asian Boxing Council champion. Third time Apichet has been lucky to stay unbeaten having twice scored very narrow victories over former WBA and WBO title challenger Chonlatarn. Adolan, an Armenian-born Thai-based Russian, is a former Muay Thai boxing trainer and had won his last seven fights by KO/TKO.
Fight of the week (Significance) Jose Zepeda vs. Ivan Baranchyk which puts Zepeda in line for a title shot
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Jose Zepeda vs. Ivan Baranchyk= 8 knock downs!
Fighter of the week: Jose Zepeda for coming off the canvas four times to beat Baranchyk
Punch of the week: The left from Zepeda that scored the eighth knockdown and ended his war with Baranchyk
Upset of the week: Mild upset as Dennis Contreras stops 20-0 Carlos Flores and Kingsley Ibeh fight to a draw with prospect Guido Vianello
Prospect watch: No special one this week
Some excitement over Amir Khan’s first promotion in Pakistan and hopes for a growth of professional boxing there. We have already seen boxing start up in a small way in Vietnam but cautious optimism needs to be observed. Boxing was going to explode in China when Zou Shiming turned pro but now they have just one champion in Can Xu, the holder of the secondary WBA featherweight title, and in China there is now only the occasional nursery show. It was also hoped that Vijender Singh would kick-start professional boxing in India but very little has happening there. It will be just as hard to build a following in Pakistan.
Strange how a boxer can find unexpected form. Take the case of Dennis Contreras. The Mexican featherweight had a run of very bad form going 1-8-1 in ten fights from there he was won three fights in a row against opponents with combined records of 52-2-1. Quite a change.
Eight knockdowns in a fight is pretty unusual but by no means a record. If we ignore everything before 1950 the record is held by Howard King vs. Hans Friedrich in Reno in May 1955 which saw 15 knockdowns in a fight that went the full ten rounds with Freidrich on the floor 14 times and losing the decision
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features